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SPS-386: Traditionally Published, Twice – with Georgina Cross

What happens when you garner the interest in two separate publishing houses and decide to do them both? Well Georgina Cross has decided to do exactly that with her suspense packed books. The conversation this episode reveals the truth of the traditional publishing experience from an author with not one- but two editors.

Show Notes

  • The difference in feeling between a large publisher and small publisher.
  • The struggles of having two editors.
  • Deadlines and the creative process.
  • The therapeutic aspects of writing.
  • Georgina’s writing processes.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Traditionally Published, Twice - with Georgina Cross

Speaker 1: Want to sell more books? Make sure you are at the Self-Publishing Show Live this summer. Meet the biggest names in self-publishing at Europe's largest conference for independent authors. Enjoy two days packed with special guests, an exclusive networking event, and a digital ticket for watching the professionally filmed replay, including bonus sessions not included at the live show. Head over to self-publishing show.com/tickets and secure your spot. Now. The Self-Publishing Show Live is sponsored by Amazon k d p

Speaker 2: On this edition of the Self-Publishing Show.

Georgina Cross: Protect your time, protect your work, and know that it really is at the end of the day. But some seats, and there's going to be times where you're just struggling to get the words down, but you just keep trying. That's, that's the main goal.

Speaker 2: Publishing is changing. No more gatekeepers, no more barriers. No one standing between you and your readers. Do you want to make a living from your writing? Join Indie bestseller Mark Dawson and first time author James Blatch as they shine a light on the secrets of self-publishing success. This is the Self-Publishing Show. There's never been a better time to be a writer.

James Blatch: Hello and welcome. It is The Self-Publishing Show with me James Blatch

Mark Dawson: And me Mark Dawson.

James Blatch: Hey, Mark Dawson, how are you doing?

Mark Dawson: I'm okay. James Blatch. How are you?

James Blatch: I'm good. I've been been doing lots of interviews today, but in between I've been delving into Facebook Lead Gen ads and believe it or not, despite doing some of the coursework on that around it, I think you did all the coursework on that. I've never actually properly run one in anger. So today I've been going through that process. It's a little bit easier than it was, I think last time. So now you can create the lead gen ad within the campaign the lead gen form, I should say. but we'll see how that goes. I mean to give away my book, desert Venom, which I'm still charging for on Kindle because it keeps selling copies every day.

Mark Dawson: Is it in Canada? Limited.

James Blatch: It's not Unlimit, so, no, I'm not that stupid. No.

Mark Dawson: Yeah, well good. Some, some people it's just easy to forget sometimes, but No, you can't, you can't use it Yeah. In any other way. So that's good.

James Blatch: No, so I will do that. So I've set up my book Funnel Love book funnel. And going through my campaign now, probably use mainly list lookalikes, I think to start it off with old men interested in Cold War. And what I'm interested in is what the lead gen itself is going to look like because you get this first page called the intro page, I think, and you can actually delete that cause it, it, all it says is just like a, a bit of blur to your person, which I did, first of all fill out as saying Tap next to get your free book. But then I thought, well, I have an option not to have this page there at all, which is good. So it goes straight to the email. Don't ask for first name, just an email cause I've learned from you. And, but then it doesn't show, an image doesn't allow you to put an image in it, just grade out. And it says, we'll use an image from your advertising. But I would like to know what that looks like. I'm not sure what stage I get to see that.

Mark Dawson: You, you should send it to yourself as a preview and then I think you can go through the, the process and see what it looks like on your phone.

James Blatch: Yes. Yeah. Okay. I'll do that. Anyway, I'll let you know, I haven't been running Facebook ads for a while. I've been really focusing on Amazon ads for my own books which seem to be doing pretty well. So yeah, that's my news in the world of book marketing, the low level world of book marketing, the 12,000 pound a year profit.

Mark Dawson: That's not bad. Three

James Blatch: Books. That's not bad. What's brilliant. I'm really happy with it. Yeah. And you make 12,000 pounds every five minutes.

Mark Dawson: not, not quite, but yeah, it's been a pretty good goodish start to the year. A little slower than than usual maybe, but I think that's kind of, you're coming outta the pandemic and cost of living and all that kind of stuff. Plus I haven't written a Milton book for a while, so I'm, I'm doing two Milton books back to back.

James Blatch: Is Milton your homes? You want to kill him at some point?

Mark Dawson: No, I don't. I don't want to kill him. He

James Blatch: Pays you hamstrung by him.

Mark Dawson: He pays the mortgage. I, I quite like, you know, it's, it's, it's quite fun. I've got into a nice position now where I can write Atticus and Milton. They're both quite different. So if I, if I need a break, I'll just do the other one. That works quite nicely. But no Mil Milton, I haven't done any for a, a little while, so it is quite nice just to kind of jump back into that again. So in Dublin at the moment, and then off to, I'm not in Dublin, but he's in Dublin. And then he's going to be going off to, to Ukraine I think for the next one. Going to be same based around Ukraine. Quite, quite interesting.

James Blatch: Where, what's historical stage will the war be in?

Mark Dawson: It'll be on as it, it'll be contemporary. So we'll still be on it,

James Blatch: Still be going. Okay. okay. So if you'd like to get into all this marketing that we're talking about, perhaps make 12,000 pounds a year or a few days depending if you're more successful than me, you can take our course self-publishing formula.com/launchpad, which is open for enrollment for another week. Also a few days at least. Also the foundation calls to set yourself up to market your books where I learnt everything, what I know since you're working for me. And that's worked very well for some other authors. And we are getting closer now. We are recording this a bit in advance. It's a little bit hard for me to know for certain. We're going to have tickets left to sell for the show. We do have an absolute limit, obviously for fire regulations, et cetera. One thing I have added today for people who just want to go to the Self-Publishing party, which is in the evening on the 20th, that's the Tuesday the 20th of June at the same venue, Southbank Centre there is an option now it's 30 quid just to come to the party alone in the evening.

But we have a very limited number of those. Cause I can only allocate those to people who've bought for. If, if someone buys a day only ticket, then I, that releases the fire limit for one person to come to the party. So I think there's 96 tickets available for that and there probably won't be anymore after they're gone. Where can you go, mark to sign up? I

Mark Dawson: Think that's So publishing formula.com/sps live if I'm not very much mistaken.

James Blatch: That is correct. Okay. We have an interview for you. It is Georgina Cross a lovely time talking to Georgina. She's talking about the difference between working as a writer for not working as a writer, being a writer published by a big five I think we're talking Penguin Random House, but also one of the more agile hybrid authors, I suppose you'd call it. That a bookature actually is now part of Hatchet, but nonetheless started a bit like Fuse books and works in quite a different way, what we would consider perhaps a bit more agile and modern to the old ways. But very interesting as an author what it's like working for those two sides. So here's Georgina and Mark and I will be back for a quick chat at the end of the interview.

Speaker 2: This is the Self-Publishing Show. There's never been a better time to be a writer.

James Blatch: Georgina Cross, welcome to the Self-Publishing Show. What about,

I think you're in Alabama and in fact I think you are in from your, are you in Huntsville?

Georgina Cross: I am. Is that you? Yes, sir. Do you actually know Huntsville, Alabama?

James Blatch: I only know Huntsville cause I'm a space geek and that's where they built the Saturn five rocket. In fact, I think they still build NASA rockets in Huntsville, don't they?

Georgina Cross: They do. And I work at my kitchen desk so it's not abnormal to hear booms and shakes like so loud with the kitchen windows rattle. And it's odd cause I think, how do we go about our lives? The kids are in school and they just go rocket scientists blowing up something again.

James Blatch: I mean hopefully they're planned booms, but I suppose when you're building rockets and testing them occasionally that's unplanned. But Yeah, no, I've never visited Huntsville, but I,

I dont know what sort of visiting options they have at the NASA plant in Huntsville? Is it something you can go and have a look around or, oh yeah,

Georgina Cross: They've got the huge museum. They have space camp for adults too.

James Blatch: Oh my God. I'm doing space camp for adults.

Georgina Cross: You should totally do. Our nephew did it. I know a couple of it all friends that have gone and you would love it. Oh

James Blatch: My God's a bucket list. I'm on there. The only time, my only time I ever go to Alabama is just driving along the south. You know, you drove drive, is it the I 10 that runs along through Louisiana or Alabama? Oh, yes. So I, I, so it's through mobile and I've stopped there because I've got the US s Alabama and a few things there and a few aircraft there. But there you go. I need to go because Alabama of course, you know, are used to the song and everything. Explore the, explore the state a bit more. Right. I'm trying, trying to collect state capitals for pub quizzes in the uk. So Montgomery is one, I think most people don't know Montgomery as state capital.

Georgina Cross: I am so impressed.

James Blatch: There you go. Well, listen, I'm, I'm British, but, and

you sound like you, you are born and bred in the United States, but you are not. You are in fact one of us. I believe.

Georgina Cross: I am. I am one of you. That's why I listened to your podcast and Joanne Penns podcast. My dad's from Gloucestershire, but I was born in Hong Kong and we lived abroad England gosh, we were in Malaysia, that's where my mother's from. And then we moved to New Orleans. I'm a New Orleans girl at heart, but we moved here for a job several years ago and been here ever since. So yeah, I've got the American accent probably a little southern too, which is confusing.

James Blatch: Yeah, not too, it's not full southern yet, but maybe another, another 10, 15 years.

And what's Huntsville like then as a city? What's Alabama like as a state to live in?

Georgina Cross: Gosh, compared to New Orleans, it's very conservative and quiet. I mean, compared to New Orleans, right?

James Blatch: Yes, which is a rowdy, rowdy place.

Georgina Cross: I grew up seeing and hearing everything which which was great. which was the way I wanted my childhood to be. But yeah, I mean, living here, it's for our jobs. And then our kids are, were born here, but it's, it's nice. My parents are here now after Hurricane Katrina. They moved here and they enjoy the hills. There are a lot of hills here, which is not something we were used to living in Louisiana. A lot of swamps as you would know and alligators. But yeah, here it's basically you can't throw a rock without hitting an engineer. My husband is an engineer. And I used, I used to work in airspace and defence contracting. So pretty much any neighbour around here, if they're not a lawyer or work at one of the hospitals, they are connected with military or defence contracting in some way.

James Blatch: Sounds like my kind of town.

Georgina Cross: I know. Come on over.

James Blatch: I need to come to Huntsville, Alabama.

Georgina Cross: And go to space camp!

James Blatch: We'll talk about writing and books in a second, but alligators, I mean, this is such a foreign concept to somebody born and bred and lives in Britain.

The idea that you can take your dog for a walk and there's a small chance that that one or both of you, and I mean you have you had any close encounters?

Georgina Cross: You know, there're when I look back and I think of the places we swam, they were questionable. And and not just for alligators, but water moccasins, cotton mouths. I mean, we, our neighbourhood

James Blatch: That's absolutely,

Georgina Cross: Oh yes, that's, yes. Okay. Nasty stuff. So our, our neighbourhood was built up on swamp and and when it would flood, when it would rain, basically half a day of rain, the whole area would flood. Right. We couldn't handle it. And so you'd see snakes crossing the road and people out on their boats. And we couldn't go to school some days because we couldn't drive out and clear the neighbourhood. Yeah, it was fun. You know, for my family who's not American originally, my mother's from Malaysian Chi she's Malaysian Chinese. And then my dad, it was, it was a very different upbringing.

James Blatch: Yeah. I mean, Malaysia probably gets some the odd poisonous thing, but not alligators is just, I don't know. I say, okay, I'll watch the Gulf and occasion you see an alligator on the golf course on the pga and there's a, like two thirds of the golf tour are like from around the world and they're terrified and they run and then a third like brought up where you are and they just wave their, their club in it and sort of go and poke it until it gets back in the water. I'm thinking, wow. You can just sort of tell who's used to it, who's not. Anyway, enough about dangerous amphibians. Let's talk about writing. And I think we're going to talk about traditional publishing and writing and the traditional life and being published because we do, obviously being the self-publishing show talk a lot about indie, but we've always said, Mark's always said what's right for one person isn't necessarily right for the other person. And, and the publishing route is absolutely a val valid and valuable option. It's still, let's face it, a very sought after option in publishing. And you have contracts with the big, at least two of the big, what used to be the Big five. I can't amalgamated so much now. I dont know how many are left, but,

so let's talk a little bit about you when you got going and when you got your first publishing agreement.

Georgina Cross: Okay. So a long, long time ago. No, I'm kidding. I've only been publishing for two and a half years. It wow. Feels like, I know. It feels like I've probably aged . And so I, you know, as I was saying, I worked in defence contracting, but I'd always wanted to write. And I wrote as a kid and I went to school for journalism communications marketing. That was the career from the get-go. But you know, kids life got in the way, it's busy. I know you've got children, they're, it's, they take up a lot of time. And eventually though, I thought I've got to double down and I really want to pursue this writing career, and if I'm going to do it, then I will write every single weekend. And so when I couldn't get rid of the children and I get them out of the house or have somebody else take them to their basketball tournaments, I would write and finally got an agent.

And honestly, you know, I had an interview with Joanna Penn and she's asking similar questions like, why did you go that route? And as I told her, and, and I'll tell you too, I really did not know what I was doing. You know, working full-time and then with the kids, I, I would research, but I didn't research probably enough as I could. And so I took the angle of, well, an agent will help me, you know, she knows or he knows what their, what this world is like, and they'll guide me through this process. And so that's what I did. I I really didn't have the luxury or maybe just the the wherewithal and time to, to look into it on doing it on my own. Although I knew that was always a possibility. I've been listening to you guys for years.

I've been listening to Joanna show for, gosh, years and years. So I always wanted to keep that in my back pocket. But no, we, we ended up selling the books and I signed with two publishers, like you were saying, one's Booka tour, so they're out of London with you guys and in the UK with Hische, they're underneath Hische Publishing. And then I had been writing another manuscript and my agent was able to sell it a month later to pay Brand House with Bantam, which was so exciting. But at the same time I was faced with a Shoe book deal and then a one book deal all on top of each other. And that was a lot.

James Blatch: So when you,

when you were discussing that, were you talking to both publishers about all the books and they just decided we'd take this one? Cause it seems like an unusual thing to do to sign with two publishers at roughly the same time.

Georgina Cross: It is unusual and as exciting as it is, I wouldn't recommend it to a lot of people because hence the comment of I feel like I've aged, you know, in the last two and a half years, it's, it's been a lot of duplicating timelines and editors have tried to work with me, but gosh, it's been a rush and a lot of work. But no, the reason is because I had written a manuscript, it took my agent a couple years to sell it. And while she was trying to sell it, I was writing this other manuscript. So when she did get the two book deal with Booker Tour, they took the first book, which was called The Stepdaughter. Signed me for two book deals. So I knew eventually I'd have to write that one. And then in the meantime I had this other manuscript.

Cause as you've heard, and a lot of people have, have said, you know, don't ever stop writing, always keep working. Cause that's what I did every weekend, just would keep writing. We pitched it to Booka tour this other manuscript. And because it wasn't domestic suspense, which is what they wanted to frame me in, I didn't even know what, you know, I just thought, I just wrote suspense. I just wanted to write about this house burning to the ground girl go going missing. So as I was learning this, they were putting me into this box, so to speak, of this is how we'll market you. And because this other book Nanny Needed was set in New York City, upper West Side, completely different, much grittier, much crazier, more fun. They turned it down and it, you know, that was fine. We sold it to, to Bantam a month later that signed ended up with the two publishers. Yeah.

James Blatch: And we should say book ur sort of like an indie publisher. I mean, started very much like Fuse books, which Mark and I are running and then had the the good fortune to sell to Hatcher. And I, I think they've kept it. In fact, I think that's a big traditional publisher Mo isn't it, over the years because you, you look at Little Brown and all the, all these imprints, which I guess at one point were their own publishers and are now amalgamated under these names. Like ha I think Little Brown is a hatch at one. So Pivotal will have, I suspect for you a slightly different feel from the from the Penguin Random House

Georgina Cross: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. There's, and like you said, you hit it on the head, they're, they are smaller, even though they're underneath a big publisher, they do have that boutique spiel to them. They've managed to stay small and nimble. It doesn't take very long to get an answer to a question of mine. And I love that. I feel as if I know a lot of the senior management just through Zoom calls or the Facebook group and whereas with Bantam, they're with Penguin. And so that's massive. And it, they are bigger they're much more established in terms of being in New York City and all of the other imprints they have. I've been to their offices that it's huge. And while I've enjoyed it, no I haven't, there's no way I could meet most of the people within Banton, let alone the other imprints. You know, I've only met three of the marketing people, whereas with book tour it's the entire team I could, you know, email them directly. So mm-hmm. it, it is different. And that's been interesting, you know, the being with the two different publishers, I have not yet self-published. So that would be, you know, the, the third prong to this to be able to compare all three. But yeah, it's been interesting being with a large publisher and then a somewhat smaller one.

James Blatch: Yeah. And I know publishing deals are confidential. I'm not going to ask you for the details unless you wanted to volunteer them,

but is there, does the, does the agreement and the remuneration feel different between the two?

Georgina Cross: The frequency of pay is absolutely the first thing I noticed. You know, going from a career 20 plus years of being paid twice a month, and it's guaranteed, so to speak as long as they keep you up. I all of a sudden went to being paid with book Couture every four months. It's quarterly, but by the time they reconcile, especially with getting all the audible sales in, it takes an extra months to reconcile everything. So I get paid every four months, which is technically one count a year every, it's three times a year, So there is, right. Being able to budget there is basically, I'm watching my bank account, it has to stretch till the next payment. Now with that's better because with Bantam, the way a lot of these bigger publishers have gone, it's, you get the advance, but it's paid with my deal, it's paid four times over two years. And that's tough for some folks.

James Blatch: Even less!

James Blatch: Yes. Even less often.

Georgina Cross: Yes, even less often. You

James Blatch: Shoulda signed refuse. We, we pay every month.

Georgina Cross: Right. And you know, Amazon, Thomas and Mercer, like, there are other publishers that pay every month. And so it's just, it's who you end up going with and how it is. I did not know, again, did not know this until I signed the contract with Bantam, but and then I signed again with them and then signed another two book deal with book tour. And that's why I've had so many books come out so quickly. But but yeah, that's, to answer your question, that's the first thing I noticed was, wow, what a change in terms of how to budget, how to have career like this. And you've talked about this with other authors you've interviewed, especially Americans where yeah, we need health insurance. I mean, it blows my mind. because I, I, I go back home to the uk I, my aunt's south of London, she was in Wimbledon for quite some time. And when I go stay and visit with friends, I have Universal healthcare just like you guys and I here now. So luckily my husband's still with the company where I used to work, so yeah, the whole family's on on his health insurance cocktails. So that's what allows me to do, to be a freelance writer, so to speak, to be a business entrepreneur or self entrepreneur. But other f you know, I don't, I don't know how they do. It's, it's, it's a tough deal.

James Blatch: Yeah. That is tough. The other thing that strikes me about this arrangement you've got is that having one publisher setting you and saying, you know, we need this, this manuscript, we're going to give you the edits on, on this date, I want them back this date.

Do these two publishers, are they aware of each other to and deadlines? Because you're sitting in the middle of this, you could easily end up overwhelmed.

Georgina Cross: Oh yeah. That's why, you know, again, thankfully I have an agent now, Booker Tour, you don't need to have an agent. You can submit to them online. I can't remember if Fuse are you, what, how was that

James Blatch: Yeah, you can absolutely. We only take direct sub submissions, actually.

Georgina Cross: See that's fantastic. And so there are a lot of authors that they don't have an agent and they're doing really, really, really well with book tour. With, you know, with me having my agent, yeah, she, she's had to earn her money because there have been several times where she's had to come into the middle and try to negotiate. We had to re amend the contract with Bantam because we had to stretch. They, they felt like the books were coming out a little too close to one another. So it was going to affect marketing. And Book of Charter said too, because anything, they were effort, time, money, their staff that were putting out info on my books wasn't encroaching on, you know, the Banton books and the analytics would get confused. And so we decided to re amend and there's like a four month pause before and after Banton book, before a Booker tour book can be.

So that's just in itself one parameter and that my agent and I have to really keep track of, and yes, the editors absolutely know and I try not to speak to them too much about it, but they're aware and I'll be honest with them. Like, I, I've got this deadline and then I'll, you know, get to you. But yeah, it's having two different editors, which, like I was telling Joanne on her show, it's, it's with the Creative Pen, it's, it's two different bosses. It's two different timelines. Two different expectations. They're two different people. So it's it's different ways of editing. I've learned from both of them massively, which has been cool too. Really, really interesting and, and cool to see that too.

James Blatch: And have you enjoyed the kind of deadline environment? I mean, it sounds a bit tough on occasions, but as a writer, is it something that works for you?

Georgina Cross: that's

James Blatch: A long, that's a long enough pause for me to know that's not necessary the case, but

Georgina Cross: I like to plan. I'm a planner, so yeah, deadlines are good. But the last year and a half, you know, it, I did not want to turn down the renegotiating of contracts. I did not want to turn down those offers after wanting to be a writer for so long and have a book published for so long, how could I possibly say no? And so, yeah, I mean, of course the contracts both were expired at the same time, so when they renewed it that just meant the timelines piled on top of me again. And so I really felt that this last year and a half it took me longer to write me longer to get the books out. I think I was just, I was just tacked I was exhausted and burned myself out. And so yeah. And then, you know, we've, we, we have four boys together, my husband and I combined family of four.

So it's just a lot that's going on in this household. And I really want to take my time at the next book. I felt like some of the ones I did the last few years were rushed. I really like to start paying attention to more quality writing, more character driven writing. I, I love plot, but yeah, I really want to get into that type of writing and dig a little deeper into my own because I write psychological suspense, dig a little deeper into my own psyche, which I think would be incredibly fun. Maybe surprising and shocking to others, which I think would be also great. But but yeah, it's deadlines are, are, it's a double-edged sword, man. I mean it's, it makes you turn in your work because I could see without it where I'd say I could put eye off for another month. But but I think my work ethic says no. And then I have to say, well contractually that this is due, I gotta turn it in.

James Blatch: Yeah. That got, that goes back a long way in the creative arts whole deadline thing. And I, I remember I had a tour around the, a studios in, in London where the Beatles recorded and Pink Floyd and my favourite bands. And, and the, the exec I met there was the boss of my friend. The reason I was there, I I, I remember Pink Floyd in particular were very disparaging about the suits. You know, the people who were bored poured them to tears asking them to do this, they had to do this, they had to do that, they hated it, felt like they were in prison. And he said, yeah, but if we hadn't done that, they literally wouldn't have recorded a couple of the greatest albums that came out of the 1970s because they're lazy and disorganised. And so, and I suddenly, you know, you don't really think about it like that because you're kind of on the side of the musicians, aren't you? But that, that's a, there's a tension there isn't there, between somebody organised, orchestrated being boring with a spreadsheet and this amazing creativity that comes as a result of being put under pressure to produce it. Having said yeah, not for everyone. Not for everyone I guess, but, you know,

Georgina Cross: No, I mean, some of the most creative minds are oftentimes kind of spiralling around in the ether. Right? And that's why what we love about them. But you know, you talk to them and, and they are, they, they're disorganised, they flutter about, there's a lot of anxiety. I think we all suffer from that. The deadlines definitely have created some anxiety for me. But yeah, you, you do. I mean, some creatives, it's like, you've gotta be able to, there's gotta be some right guide, guide rails to get them to turn in their work and they'll, they'll push against it. And I, I definitely, you know, the first few years I was like, oh, absolutely. I was used to project timelines and Gantt charts for my days in airspace defence contracting. I know what deadlines are. You gotta hit those milestones. But with this, I mean, especially working from home, which so many of us were doing with Covid, but with me writing full-time and working from home, it could have easily been, I'll just put this off, you know, I feel stressed or I feel tired, or this has happened with this child.

But no contractual deadlines are, are good in that way. You know, I think self-publishing authors, you've, that's a lot of discipline. I admire that quite a bit.

James Blatch: Do you, you could do that if you, if you decided to not renew contracts, say in a couple years time and self-publish, is it something you can see yourself doing

Georgina Cross: That I could see myself self-publishing or actually turn stuff in on time?

James Blatch: Yeah, we both, I suppose it doesn't, it does require you to write when you're self-publish as well, which I'm actually, I'm, I'm very bad at as well, but,

Georgina Cross: Right. No, I, you know, I'm going to listen back to significant go, gosh, I sound like I don't turn stuff in. But no, I am, I'm pretty, I I have to admit, I am pretty anal repetitive about deadlines. That's probably why I do stress myself out. In terms of if I want to self-publish and if I could one day, I do think that that's going to be a path I take. I believe I'll go a hybrid model. That's why I listen to you guys. I listen to Joanna. I, I'd like to go to some more of these conferences. It's something that I, I want to say on top of, I find it interesting, but I'll admit it there, there's an intimidation factor. Because right now I quote unquote get to write and there is this group that does, for the most part, a lot of other stuff for me.

And yes, could that be more money that I get to keep in my pocket because now there's this overhead cost and then this cost goes out to my agent too, and she takes her percentage, which she absolutely deserves. But but, you know, I'd like to one day, because I am one of those spreadsheet gals, I'd like to sit down and, and really, and I've seen some articles where people have tried to put, you know, this is the, the cost when they're self-publishing for an editor and then a high quality design, you know, cover designer and compare that to say labour, like your personal labour, what that costs in terms of your time and is that time that could be taken away and is being taken away from writing, like really, really deep dive writing. So I've gotta weigh that because yes, while I've got somebody doing a lot of this for me, could I at the end of the day keep more money for myself? I don't know. I really have to look at, you know, is my time something I want to contribute to that? And everything you guys do is self-publishing. It's a lot of work. I mean, you guys do a lot of work and then there's all the extra marketing. I'm really impressed, seriously impressed. And I want to stay abreast of all of it eventually. Because eventually I think I will go that way.

James Blatch: Yeah, I bet you'll be good at it too. Feel that. Okay, let's talk, let's talk about the writing there.

So I mean, relatively recent then, your first contract, but you said you were, you were writing at weekends, you decided you just wanted to start writing. So was it always thrillers that you, you began with or played with?

Georgina Cross: Yeah. I mean, since I was a little kid I was writing and then my twenties and thirties, I wrote some short stories, but mostly for myself. And then this is where the story gets sad, but my best friend passed away. So she was 34, died of cancer. I was 32. And we lost her in, in 11 months. And so it was, it was fast and tough. And I wrote, sat down and wrote a short story about what it was like, because she asked me to help plan her funeral. So we went through all the steps of what she wanted before she passed, and I just had to get that outta my system. I probably should have gone to a therapist at the same time, but I wrote and I wrote the short story and there were friends of mine that just could not read it.

And then there were some friends that wrote it, and I found it so cathartic on so many levels. And the next thing I knew I was writing a little bit more again, and one of the short stories somebody read it and said, you know, this really could be a full length book. And that felt very daunting to me. A full length book is highly different, as you know, than you know, a shorter story of novella. It's a lot more effort and work and a lot more editing. But but that's what got me going. I think it built the confidence to me on top of the fact that, yeah, I did want to eventually have a book published. And so that's, that's where it went.

James Blatch: Yeah, I think I, we, mark made this observation before on the, on the show, the interviews I do that somebody, I think somebody once said that the reason people read books is so they can help 'em make sense of the world. But one of the great revelations for me sitting in this seat is that writers write books to help 'em make sense of the world. And I don't think, I mean, I think the value, the cathartic value, the therapy value if you want of writing is you can't underestimate it. I've certainly found that with my, you know, trying to examine my, my dad and my background. It's been an important process for me. So yeah, I understand that and I hope it's helped.

And unfortunately, presumably your friend, was she there to see the finish short story?

Georgina Cross: uh-

James Blatch: Was this afterwards you were pro, it was helped you process afterwards? Yeah, yeah,

Georgina Cross: Yeah. She, we, we were supposed to go on her last trip and she died the night of the trip. And so that was another blow. And so, you know, it's, several friends have said to me and my husband too, he is like, you know, how do you write, how have you gone on and written suspense and about death and about murder and, you know, you, you've personally witnessed this with her and, and no touch with, thank God she was not murdered, but it was the dying of her soul. And it was, you know, the, the anticipatory loss from us too. And I, I don't know. I approached that very differently. I think I've been hate saying this, but I feel like I've been hard into it. You know, a lot of us, as we get older, we get hard into so many things. And I feel like I'm able to have a separation a little bit. And I have to, and yeah, suspense is where my mind goes, you know, even before she got sick and after she died I've always loved suspense and horror movies, and we watched horror movies all year long. Like, it's not just Halloween. Halloween, we just watch, you know, maybe five a week as opposed to one a week. But but it, to me, it, it feels like something that is intriguing, interesting. I get it out of my system. I really do. And that's helped.

James Blatch: Yeah, we do. I we do, we have a fascination with, with death, I think. We don't talk about it very much, but we all do. It's an incredible earthy fascination with what happens. And that's, I mean, lots have been, lots has been written on this subject, but part of that I think is, is it's not happening to us, which is probably why we kind of do get drawn to horror movies and, and helps us reassure ourselves. Perhaps the, the more we know about it, the more protective we're going to be of. There's all sorts of psychology in there, isn't there? But horror movies I mean, I, we love our horror movies. I love them more than anyone else in the house, which is problematic because I end up watching them by myself alone 11 o'clock at night. Yeah. And I get scared, you know, which is point. Right. okay. Well, so, so suspense, give us an idea Georgina of what sort of books.

So you, you mentioned you like horror movies, but looking at the books, I think these are real world, they're, or, or do you have some supernatural elements in there?

Georgina Cross: So, n so with Booka Chore I, I wrote the first book, like I said, I wanted the, you know, I saw a house fire, a girl going missing. I wrote what I was interested in. And that's when, you know, books started talking about domestic suspense and psychological suspense and things that, like you said, real world, what you could imagine happening in your neighbourhood. You hope that it doesn't, that it would never happen to your neighbour or God forbid to yourself, but my God, if it did, what would you do in that situation? How would you react? How are you responding to his or her decision? So those are, those books go in that, more of that direction. And that was part of the amended contract was how to separate my stuff between the two publishers so they wouldn't overlap too much, because yeah, technically I am, I'm writing under the same genre.

So with Bantam when Nanny I wrote Nanny Needed, I wasn't thinking, oh, I've gotta write something completely different. I just had this idea. I write, wrote what I love, what I wanted to write. It just turned out to be a lot creepier, which I love. My brain goes that way. And my, you know, my future books with Bantom are a lot creepier. And yeah, there are ghostly elements in it. I didn't plan for it to be that way. I started reading a lot of Simone St. James. She tends to have you know, ghosts or illusions of, of hauntings. And that's that Chinese side of me were very superstitious culture. And so ghost stories were always something that, that we would convince each other. Like, they're around us, they're here, we're you know, she's seeing something again. And so that was always intriguing to me.

And so that has been part of those books without really intending it to be that way. It just has. And so my locations for the Banton books tend to be bigger settings, not necessarily realistic. You know, nanny needed, I've had some reviewers say, you've really got to like suspend your, your belief in this. It's entertainment, it's fun, it's outrageous. And that's what I love. The ending is just a little bit mind blowing. And I, I strive for that. So, you know, does it pigeonhole me, I guess? Yes. No, but at the same time, if I'm going to continue to say publish with these two publishers, it's giving me some guidelines because I know this is what the editor is expecting and this is kind of where I need to go. And that's helped because I had such strict timelines to turn these books. But yeah, the next book for next year, I, I do want to slow it down in terms of how long I write on it and write a little bit more of what I want. And then we'll see we'll see which publisher wants it.

James Blatch: It, it seems to be like a, a difficult, not difficult, but there's a line isn't there, in, in, when you talk about supernatural stuff because people, people who read, you know, sinister, even suspense books, that's quite different from there being overtly supernatural elements that sort of crosses into a different genre. Do you have, I mean, I, I'm trying to think of I think it was the film, what Lies Beneath, I can't remember the, the book, but the end of it, I thought it was really clever in that you could look at what happened at the end two ways. You could either see it purely a physical thing that happened as a body was released from car, or you could see it as a ghost. Right? And I thought it's clever.

And maybe the reason they did that was because they wanted the creepy horrors of the whole thing, but without saying, oh, it was supernatural. It was a ghost. Which is a little bit like it was magic. Right. Is that a line you find yourself toying with?

Georgina Cross: Mine tends to be that someone has died, and therefore, as the family's moved on, there is this missing, this grieving. I mean, who knows? Maybe this is drawing from what happened with my friend, but there is this missing and this grieving and this ghostly element of, do I still see her? Do I still hear her? Do I still hear her laugh? You know, similar to like, I'm sure when you remember your father, I'm, did he pass away?

James Blatch: No, no, no, he's 92. Oh, okay. Oh, good. But Oh, good. Okay. Yeah. But my mother's passed away. But yeah, so, so there's, there is, you know, there is those, I, so, so I guess what I'm guess at is how overt is it? Is it, could the reader think it's it's in their mind?

James Blatch: Or does it, does it become

Georgina Cross: It's definitely in the character's mind of, because the situation is so rot with suspense and angst, and, and it's a high precious, like the next book I have occurs in just one night. Literally, the book is all night long, and it's a pressure cooker inside that house. There's a storm coming from Pacific. And so when you're in that situation and you're already grieving and you're already scared to death and things are happening, it's, do I, is there guilt of what happened in the past? Memories coming to play? Do I see something, smell something, remember her? I'm feeling something. And maybe like, again, it is that guilt factor. And so I bring in a lot of elements of dresses and outlines of, of skirt possibly, but it's a curtain from a window. And is she remembering something that happened to this young woman? Right? That's where I go.

James Blatch: Yeah. Well, let's not give away too much. These sound brilliant, by the way, these books. I can see you exact. It's funny how when somebody finds their niche and you sort of talking to you, I'm already thinking lots of things in your life have led to this point, sort of some of the heritage backgrounds, some of the experiences you've had, and you seem to be in an ideal position to tell these stories.

You said you're a planner in the sense of, of deadlines an organisation, Are you a planner in terms of story? Are you a plotter in that sense?

Georgina Cross: I plot now. I used to not plot. Okay. And I learned horrifically how bad that would be and problematic in terms of rewriting the damn manuscript over and over. I can't just wing it. And so what I do is I now plot, and when I say plot, it is a loose plot because I, I don't under, you know, I get for fantasy writers, they have to write under so many pages for a plot and build out worlds and characters. I don't go that extreme. I don't think that I need to, but I definitely need some sort of roadmap to avoid the massive overhaul of edits that could come my way. So it's, it's literally chapter three, three to four bullet points. I go through it several times, maybe bounce my ideas off the editor, make sure it's possibly copacetic workouts and kinks, and then I literally put it aside minimise it on my screen, or I've printed it out, stuck it to the side.

And once I start writing, the middle tends to just go all over the wonderful place as my brain. And I think that's the lovely part of the creative process is, yeah, I have a guideline, but now that I'm in it, my character all sudden surprises me and, or this happens, or this person shows up, or this person gets killed off. I think that's the beauty of, of writing of what we do and the ending, for the most part, my endings tend to stay how I envisioned it. The last couple books, I have switched it up, just, I was like, wait a minute, this person should have Right. Love that moment. We love those moments. when those thoughts come and that's in that flow stage, which is so sought after. But trust me, there are days where I'm banging my head against a keyboard. It's like chewing glass, trying to write out words. I can get 500 a day, you know, if I'm lucky. If I'm in the flow, it's like 1200, 2000. And then I just, I'm tired, I'm exhausted. I've gotta do some marketing now. But I do, I write seven days a week. And so that has been exhausting. It's been part of the burnout for the past year and a half. And so I want to slow down at least maybe take a Sunday off

James Blatch: Yeah, that would be nice. Well, thank you for saying that you struggle and sometimes it's really hard because successful writers, hearing people say that it's important. And I'm not sure, yeah. For the rest of us realise that it's basically the same for everybody. I mean, some people I think, make, make it sound probably easier than it really is for them, but they may might think that they, they're showing a vulnerability by saying they have days when it's hard. But anyway, thank you. No,

Georgina Cross: I, I think it's, it, it, you know, something, I've been to a lot of conferences and panel discussions where there's this panel I want to introduce of the idea that, that creatives and people, I think really, if anything there, there's a point where we have to be selfish and selfish in a different spin. Not necessarily selfish because you're an egomaniac and a narcissist, but selfish in terms of protecting your time. And so, when I worked Monday through Friday, I absolutely, time blocked every weekend was Sac Sanc. I had to be selfish. And my children I love, but I was like, go make your own food. Leave me alone. I can't hang out friends. I've really had to say no to a lot of things. And I think it's just with whatever you want to do, whether you want to learn to be an amazing chef, you want to shoot, you know, hoops like Steph Curry, you're going to shoot what, a thousand times a day or whatever that deal was. And he wasn't spending time with Brian. You know, you have to make certain sacrifices to get to where you are. And that's how I've seen it. And so I'd like to bring that word selfish into the binocular bit in a more positive way. You know, protect your time, protect your work, and know that it really is at the end of the day, butts and seats. And there's going to be times where you're just struggling to get the words down, but you just keep trying. That's, that's the main goal.

James Blatch: Yeah. A positive spin on selfishness.

I'm assuming Steph Curry is a basketball player, did you say? Did you say Steph Curry? Okay. Yes,

Georgina Cross: Yes.

James Blatch: I'm, I'm not, I've I've heard of like four basketball players. Those, you know, going back to Magic Johnson, that's about it. And the Hollywood Globe Globetrotters. But I think Mark knows his basketball. And I know most of our audience will be shouting at me, but I just wanted to just for the other, the other third of the audience,

Georgina Cross: Right? Yes. Yes. Basketball player. I should clarify,

James Blatch: Who does he play for? Is this, is he

Georgina Cross: Gosh, who does he play for now? He's bounced around.

James Blatch: Everyone, everyone, everyone's now shouting. They're shouting at both of us.

Georgina Cross: My kids probably, you know, my kids play basketball for their school, so they're going to decide when they get this later.

James Blatch: Yeah, I'll look it up. And sneaky when you're doing your next answer. So you do your, your plotting. That sounds actually really similar to me writing out, like, I write maybe three to 5,000 word sy synopsis of the book, and then I don't look at it again while I write the book. But that's an important part of the process for me. And, and then you juggle your commitments, your writing commitments, leading up to deadlines.

Are you ever write, do you write more than one book at once or do you sort of compartmentalize?

Georgina Cross: I have to, so back to that time blocking, I will block out, say, three months that I work on this book in terms of drafting it. And then I'll block out, okay, these two weeks I have to know edit the other book. So because of the contracts overlapping, I'm not necessarily writing two books at the same time, but I'll be writing one, editing the other turning in a book thinking I can get a break. Nope, this other one came in and it's time for, you know, copious copy edits and I want to tear my hair out. And so yeah, that's, I have to tie block and have to, to, to plan it that way or else my brain will just go crazy. And so yeah, it, it's, I just don't see friends. I don't go to places. I'd like to eventually, you know, by nighttime I'm so tired.

James Blatch: So you don't see friends and your children have to feed themselves, but apart from that

Georgina Cross: Everything's great.

James Blatch: Yeah. It's working out really well. This new career. Yeah. My

Georgina Cross: Husband's like, I'll see you later.

James Blatch: Yeah. See you in 2026. Yeah. by the way, golden State Warriors.

Georgina Cross: Yes. Yes. There you go. There you

James Blatch: Marketing. So I think the days of, of Ernest Hemingway, just going fishing in between writing books are probably over for traditionally published authors.

You must have to get some in some way involved in marketing. What does that look like for you?

Georgina Cross: For me, I, it's Instagram and Facebook. I'm off Twitter. Gosh. After everything that's been going on the last few months, I think you're off Twitter. Is that what I heard? And

James Blatch: I, I don't, I, I find Twitter a very toxic place. I do not use it for marketing at all. I use it for following military aviation stuff I'm interested in, try to keep out of everything else.

Georgina Cross: There you go. Smart man. Smart man. Yeah, I'm, and I, I've threw some things up on TikTok because I, I went to a conference where somebody recommended at least have a TikTok account name. They can tag you and that would be great. So I've threw some videos up there, I've gotten some follows. I'm like, whatever. And I just am not this performative person I want to write. But yeah, I, I get it. And you know, at any point TikTok is going to get banned. So I'm like, here we go,

James Blatch: yea I don't know what

Georgina Cross: Some other social media platform. But for me, Facebook has been huge because of the local connection. A lot of my stories are based around here in Alabama, so people seem to love that. You know, you think they would be like, no, don't put a murder in my neighbourhood. And they end up loving it and tell 'em all their friends about it. So that's been fun, but

James Blatch: Are only worried about that, that real estate prices us.

Georgina Cross: But we moved house, we moved house, so the new neighbours were like, great yeah, she's going to, right. And so, but no, I, I've really taken the backseat approach to marketing. I've got to work on it some more. I, I've really depended on Bantam and they did a great job pushing out nanny needed. And that was huge. You know, they, they did things that I, I wouldn't have been able to do or known who to call or contact and, and afford to pay for. And so but in the last few months, because of the, the deadlines, I've just, I've not gotten into Facebook advertising and Amazon advertising, which I know you guys talk about quite a bit. I actually did Mark Dawson's course like six years ago, perhaps the whole thing, like four hours worth, not have not spent a dime yet on Facebook, but I will, I want to eventually, I need to get into it because it is important.

But for now it's a lot of interviews, a lot of local events, which has been fantastic because when you think that people are mostly staying at home and watching Netflix and, which is what I mean, I am that person. I sit and watch a lot of Netflix. There are a tonne of people still reading and that has been refreshing to me. And then I'm good at talking with people. I could probably talk to you in the next six hours. We could talk about space camp and alligators some more, but I just, these local events is where I, I really connect with readers. It just more personal and I get more bang out of it than just this random post and these people I've never met. I love all of them, but yeah, no, I, I really like to see people face to face

James Blatch: How, how old fashioned of you, you actually like meeting real people rather than

Georgina Cross: Probably because

James Blatch: Making friends on the internet

Georgina Cross: Probably. Cause I've been stuck at home with Covid and then working seven days a week that if I do have to leave fast, I'm like, oh my gosh. There are few things out here.

James Blatch: Your, your background of being British born in Hong Kong.

Did you say you're born in Hong Kong? Yes. And Chinese family.

Georgina Cross: Malaysian Chinese,

James Blatch: Yeah. Malaysian Chinese. Does any of that find its way into your books with characters and

Georgina Cross: The next book it's going to? Yeah. I haven't said that out loud yet. I haven't even talked to my editors yet, but I have a couple story ideas that I pitched and they were like, oh, that sounds interesting. And then this one just percolated. And I think it's time. You know, I, I've, there have been a couple people who have said to me, you don't put Asian characters in your books. And I was like, I don't never thought of it really, truly, I'm half Caucasian. I just never thought about it. But there are so many stories I could tap into from just my Malaysian side. That would be interesting. My God, the book would write itself and so I'm going to try it and I don't know, I don't know if a publisher will want it, but it's something that I feel that I need to do. And we're going to Malaysia this summer. That's probably what has prompted this Covid shut us down so we couldn't go, but we're taking the boys, my husband my parents. It's like the Caucasian invasion, We're all going to head over to Malaysia , see the family. But while that's, I'm there, I'll be taking notes, you know? Yes. All the ghost stories that my Chinese family have have

James Blatch: Gathered. I was thinking beef has become a big hit on Netflix. I dont know if you've watched it yet, the series. Because that seems to be, it's like, it's broken through to like the mainstream.

And it, I suspect it's got lots of in jokes for American Asian culture in there, which

Georgina Cross: Yes, I am so pleased. Especially because it's a, it's a Chinese actress. She's married her husband, the show is Japanese, and then the guy she's feuding with is Korean. And I love that because most people can't tell us apart and they don't know some of the differences. And the show's very clever in writing and it's subtle stereotypes that people will make a quip and most people would ignore it. And then there's this moment of, wait a minute, and they don't push it. They're not, you know, it's not in your face. It's very subtle. And I, I, I had, I watched that show in less than two days. Yeah,

James Blatch: Yeah. It was, it was very funny. We enjoyed it very much and dark as well. But I just wondered if there's now going to be more opportunities for that type of comedy. And, and, and it's probably been, I think, underrepresented in, in mainstream American Asian culture.

Georgina Cross: Well, and then, you know, and it's on the coattails of everything everywhere, all at once. Have you seen that?

James Blatch: No, I haven't, but I've heard about that. Yeah. I mean, obviously I've heard about it's Hugs Gordon film, but I will, I will at some point see it. I've heard really, really mixed reviews from my friends about that. Some have come out the cinema saying waste of time. Others have come out saying, best film I've seen this year. So, so it's

Georgina Cross: Hilarious and it's weird. That's all I gotta say. And I love hilarious and I love Weird

James Blatch: Who doesn't. Yeah. look, time has flown by. We have. we, you are. It is such a great conversation. But we do try and sort of tap off our interviews about, you know, 45 minutes maximum. We are, we've hit that wall, which is incredible. So you're going to have to come back at some point, Georgina.

Georgina Cross: You mean I can't go over two hours and just be like, sorry guys,

James Blatch: There are there, there are podcasts out there. Do that. But we try and, and have our, our thing and honestly, we could go on, couldn't we? Yeah, we barely, we barely got into Rocket building, which I was hoping to have a whole sequence on, but but yeah, we will we'll talk again at some point. Cause I've really enjoyed it. It's been fantastic conversation. Georgina, thank you so much for sharing everything with us. I will. 100% Huntsville is on my radar, so I'll let you know when I'm in town. I'm going to go and do all the NASA stuff.

Georgina Cross: Please do go to Space camp. I'll take photos of you in your spacesuit. Oh my gosh. So fun.

James Blatch: Would be hilarious. Going to space camp. What if I could find anybody to go with me, ask my friends. Mark Dawson won't do it. I can tell you now. all these things I suggest to him like, we're going to fly in a jet in Florida. He goes, Nope, I'm not going to do that.

Georgina Cross: Yeah, I don't see, I don't know the man, but I've heard a of interviews and conversations. I don't see him doing it. Although I think it would be hilarious to bring a video camera and show the two you side by side during these experiences

James Blatch: In our in our blue. I wonder what colour space suits. I get blues kind of blue shuttle shuttle's. A shuttle. That's a modern era. Yeah. Yeah. Mm-Hmm. . not Orange. A kind of Apollo era. Anyway.

Georgina Cross: No, you're not going to prison either. In Orange you'll be blue

James Blatch: Orange jumpsuits bring, that's why they changed that. Yeah. Okay. Look, thank you so much indeed. Georgina again, it's been brilliant talking to you. Thank you. Maybe see you at a conference.

Are you're going to go any conferences here to see you?

Georgina Cross: Thriller Fest. So I'm hoping Joanna Pen goes. She mentioned maybe going, I know she's been the past, but yeah. Thriller Fest. And then I don't know when I went to fly over see you guys in London, but maybe soon I've got family. Okay. So I'll go crash with them.

James Blatch: And you've got your passport?

Georgina Cross: Yes. Yes.

James Blatch: Okay. So we are June, obviously there's an Ink in 20 books in the ottoman as well, and there's a tiny chance I might get to throw a festival. I'm half mulling still. There's a trip I'd like to do in June, but probably not. But anyway, I'll let you know.

Georgina Cross: Okay. Alright. Yeah.

James Blatch: Have a great rest of the day, Georgina. It's a nighttime. here. But you can go and enjoy the rest of your your Alabama Sunshine Day. Please.

Georgina Cross: I know you can go watch everything everywhere all at once tonight.

James Blatch: Okay. Would you know what? I've got another call in nine minutes or so.

Georgina Cross: Okay. That's my,

James Blatch: That's my life. But I will get to the cinema watch at some point.

Georgina Cross: Okay. All right. Thank you.

James Blatch: Thanks Regina.

Georgina Cross: See ya.

Speaker 2: This is the self-publishing show. There's never been a better time to be a writer. There

James Blatch: You go. Georgina Cross. So it was fun talking to Georgina. I mean, she's, you know, she's a bit like me. Getting round to writing has been difficult for her on the odd occasion. But having authors, it's just, I just don't fancy that deadline world. Don't fancy. It's not for me. Never want to do it. I, I, I started, I've done some interviews today. I was talking earlier to one of my interviewees who's never sent out a query. This is Ryan Cahill, I think, who writes in New Zealand Epic Fantasy. Never sent out a query letter. Never. He, you know, he discovered self-publishing at the same time he got interested in writing. Loved the idea of doing it. Has never occurred to him to try and get a publisher. The, the same with me. I can't imagine myself ever writing a letter to a publisher saying, please publish me. Not my main kind of, you know, stock. I know we talk about side deals with print editions. Absolutely. I'd be up for that. Take those off my hand. Audio books, take 'em off my hands if you want. Maybe. Although even those I'm doing myself.

Mark Dawson: Yeah, that's right. Yeah. It's not, I mean, it's not for everyone. Obviously some people are always going to be constitutionally best suited towards a traditional deal where, where everything is done for them after they've written the book. But more and more people these days are, are, are less interested in that just because, you know, it's easier and easier for us to do the those things ourselves and get paid quite a lot more for doing it. So yeah, I mean, it's not something, I think I've said it before, mean everything's got a price. If someone comes to me and says, we'll give you a gazillion pounds for your back catalogue, I'll probably tell you Yes, please, here's where you sign. But that's not going to happen. And I'm quite happy to keep going, going along with the way I've been doing it for the last 10 years, which is, is fun and direct contract with the readers and, and more money. All, all of this is all, it's all great obviously. Preaching. Preaching, if you've got this fun in the podcast, I'm preaching to the choir. But you know, it's yeah, it's, it's

James Blatch: Has been a couple of threads on Twitter recently by traditionally published authors complaining about their lives. Two of them actually quite similar. Both of them saying, I just want to let enthusiastic young writers know what the reality of writing is. Like. First of all, I've only earned about seven and a half thousand pounds a year from my a hundred thousand pound contract or 50,000 pound contract I assigned six years ago. We've only got three books out. You're constantly having edits sent back to you and all and virtually everything they put in their complain e thread is solved by going indie. And of course that's, they got, they got 400 replies saying you should train. And then at some point they say, ah, indie's not for me. And I'm thinking, well, stop complaining then.

Mark Dawson: Exactly. Yeah, you can. Well, you know, this is what you're going to get if you don't, you know, if you keep doing what you've always done, you'll just keep getting the same. But you

James Blatch: Know all you could

Mark Dawson: Or you could. You know, there's plenty of other options. You don't have to be a full indie these days. There are other kind of you could put your half of foot in rather than jumping all the way in. So it's up to them is like the

James Blatch: OK Koki.

Mark Dawson: Yeah, exactly. For our American listeners that were made.

James Blatch: Surely that's an international song. No, I'm pretty sure it's not isn't it? I think he might be. It's very pretty. It's true American. Have you heard of the Yoki Koki? I can't do the gag about the man who wrote the Yoki Koki died. They're terrible Trouble at the funeral at the coffin. Yes. Okay. We have to Google it. The people on the running machines have to Google it later. Right. That's it. Mark, we are going to say goodbye. We've got lots of stuff going on at the moment, so you and I are busy with that. We can't wait for our conference coming up soon. Don't forget, still a chance. Hopefully to get a ticket for that self publishing forum.com/sps live. We will see you next Friday. Thank you to Georgina hokey American Hokey Pokey in America. Hokey hoki, hokey pokey in the in the UK hokey pokey. That sounds weirder. It sounds a bit weird. I mean, the whole thing's, the whole thing's a bit weird. It is. Yes. So they do sort of know it. Okay. Okay. Alright. All the remains for me to say, is this a goodbye from him and a goodbye from me. Goodbye. Goodbye.

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